U.S. Department of Commerce

Value of Construction Put in Place

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: About the SurveysConstruction › Value of Construction Put in Place

PURPOSE

To provide monthly estimates of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this program and provides for voluntary responses.

COVERAGE

All construction work done each month on new private residential and non-residential construction, public construction, and improvements to existing buildings and structures, and infrastucture.

CONTENT

Data estimates include the cost of labor and materials; cost of architectural and engineering work, overhead costs; interest and taxes paid during construction; and contractor’s profits.

FREQUENCY

Data collection and estimation activities begin on the first day after the reference month and continue for about 3 weeks. Reported data and estimates are for activity taking place during the previous calendar month. The survey has been conducted monthly since 1960.

METHODS

Composite estimates based on mail-out/mail-back and interview surveys of selected construction projects and building owners, and estimates developed or compiled from other Census Bureau, Federal agency, and private data sources. Directly measured (survey) estimates account for 65 percent of total monthly value of construction put in place; other estimates cover the remaining 35 percent of work done.

The Construction Progress Reporting Surveys are mail-out/mail-back surveys of owners of sampled construction projects that collect data on expenditures for 4 types of construction: privately-owned non-residential construction projects (e.g., office buildings and shopping malls), State and local construction projects (e.g., highways, schools, and housing), privately-owned apartment buildings, and federal construction projects.

Projects are selected using stratified systematic sample procedures. Private non-residential, state and local, and federal projects are selected from lists compiled by the McGraw-Hill Construction Company (and supplemented with a small sample of projects in non-permit issuing areas), with strata based on type of construction and estimated project value. Apartment projects are a sub-sample of multi-unit projects identified in the Survey of Construction, with strata based on building location and number of housing units.

Owners of selected projects report on the value of work done each month from project start through completion. These 4 surveys currently cover about 8,500 private non-residential; 8,500 State and local; 2,500 apartment; and 700 federal projects each month.

The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) is a personal interview survey of 7,500 owner-occupied housing units. Monthly value in place data for residential improvements to owner-occupied housing units are derived from CES.

Other estimates are developed or compiled for the value of construction put in place through various sources and surveys. Examples include estimates of new home construction activity for houses identified in the Survey of Construction; expenditures for railroad construction obtained from the Surface Transportation Board; and data on cable television construction obtained from industry trade association statistics.

PRODUCTS

Value of Construction Put in Place press releases are issued on the first working day of each month 2 months after the reference month. Data are shown by type of construction, and in seasonally adjusted and unadjusted dollars. Statistics are available at the U.S. level monthly, and by division and state annually for selected categories.

USERS

The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses these data directly in producing GDP statistics. Other government agencies and construction-related businesses use the data for economic forecasts, market research, and financial decision making.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provide a designated principal economic indicator and a major source of data for monthly estimates of fixed capital investment.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Building Permits Survey

Survey of Construction


EXPLORE INFORMATION

CONTINUE OVERVIEW

Construction

Next Program

U.S. Economy

Economy Overview